Turkey Breast Roast with Honey-Thyme Butter

Thanksgiving is just around the corner for us Canadians and this year I am looking to refresh my Thanksgiving day menu.

While Thanksgiving recipes can be really traditional, I am modernizing my traditional turkey recipe this year while keeping all of the delicious Thanksgiving flavours I love!

Turkey Breast Roast with Honey-Thyme Butter

For my main dish, I am still going to be serving turkey but I am not making an entire roast turkey this year. Instead I am going to be cooking up a Turkey Breast Roast with Honey-Thyme Butter.

The secret to this turkey breast roast is to brine the turkey overnight which will keep it nice and juicy. I make a simple brine with sugar, salt, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, and mustard seeds. some aromatic herbs such as bay leaves, rosemary, and sage really helps to round out this recipe and give the turkey breast amazing flavour.

Another secret to this juicy turkey breast it’s just smother it in butter. Yes I know, butter might not be the healthiest, but it is the holidays after all! Not only do I like to stuff the butter in the centre of the turkey breast, I also like to stuff it underneath the skin of the turkey so that all the butter can sleep into the turkey breast and make the skin nice and crispy once it’s cooked!

Get the Recipe!

Turkey Breast Roast with Honey-Thyme Butter

Melissa
An overnight brine ensures that this Turkey Breast with Honey-Thyme Butter will be succulent and juicy. Serve this modern take on traditional turkey this Thanksgiving!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Brining Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

For the Brine:

  • 2 litres cold water divided
  • ½ cup sea salt
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns whole
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds whole
  • 8 sage leaves fresh
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 orange zest removed and fruit quartered
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 boneless turkey breast roast skin on (approx. 1.5 kg)

For the Honey Butter:

  • cup salted butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup thyme leaves fresh
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Roast Vegetables:

  • 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 medium orange carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 shallots peeled and quartered
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine optional

For the Gravy:

  • Pan drippings
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Instructions
 

Brine the Turkey:

  • Place 4 cups of water in a small pot over high heat. Add the salt and sugar and stir to dissolve. Once dissolved, remove from the heat and add the peppercorns, fennel seed, mustard seeds, sage leaves, bay leaves, rosemary and orange zest. Let the spices and herbs steep together for 30 minutes and to let the brine base cool completely.
  • Once cooled, place the brine base into a large container (or plastic bag) with the turkey breast. Squeeze in the juice from the orange and the onion.
  • Top the turkey roast with enough water to completely submerge the turkey roast.
  • Place in the refrigerator overnight to brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Honey-Thyme Butter:

  • Next make the honey-thyme butter. Place the softened butter into a small bowl and add the honey, thyme leaves and ground black pepper. Mix to fully combine and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare & Bake the Turkey:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • After the turkey has brined, remove the turkey roast from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.
  • Place the turkey roast on a cutting board skin side down. Open the turkey roast to expose the center of the roast. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the middle of the roast then carefully roll it back up into a roll with the skin side facing out.
  • Carefully use your fingers to lift the turkey skin away from the meat, creating a pocket, making sure to not tear the skin. Next, take 1 tablespoon of the honey-thyme butter and place it in the pocket between the skin and the meat. Fold the skin over the butter and press the butter down to spread it across the breast meat below the skin. Repeat on the other side of the turkey breast roast.
  • Use butchers twine to tie the turkey roast up so that it holds its shape while it cooks. I tie it about 4-5 times with the twine spaced out every inch along the turkey roast.
  • Spread the remaining honey-thyme butter on the outside of the turkey roast. This will make the turkey golden brown once cooked.
  • Place the turkey breast roast into a large baking tin along with the potatoes, carrots, shallots, chicken broth and white wine. Season the vegetables and turkey with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered for 1 hour and 20 minutes, making sure to baste the turkey every 20 minutes. If the turkey is getting too brown in the oven, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven once a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the turkey roast reaches 160 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the pan, place on a cutting board, and cover with aluminum foil. Allow the turkey to sit for 20 minutes. This will help the juices redistribute in the turkey and will continue cooking due to the heat. The turkey will be fully cooked once it reaches 165 degrees F.

Make the Gravy & Serve:

  • While the turkey is resting, carefully pour the pan drippings/gravy into a small pot and bring to a boil. Return the roasted vegetables to the pan to keep warm.
  • Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and add the cold water. Stir to combine then pour into the boiling pan drippings. Whisk to combine until the gravy thickens and is bubbling. Taste for seasoning, then remove from the heat and pour into a gravy boat.
  • Place the roasted vegetables on a serving dish and top with the turkey roast. Slice the turkey into 1-cm thick slices and serve.

Video

Keyword modern thanksgiving, thanksgiving turkey, turkey, turkey breast, turkey breast roast

Get More Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes!

Check out some of my other posts for some Thanksgiving  turkey inspiration: